Some people may ask, “Is stretching really important?” The answer is yes, even if you are not working out. We all have stress in our lives and whether you are working out or not, stretching should be a part of your daily routine. Stretching helps relieve built-up tension and, in turn, promotes relaxation of the mind and body. This is essential for getting a good night’s sleep, so you can take on the next day without feeling groggy or fatigued. For those of us who are physically active at work or in the gym, stretching before and after any kind of movement plays a pivotal role in how the body feels afterwards. Here are six reasons why we should stretch before and after working out.
#1: Injury Prevention
If something as simple as stretching prevents you from having to take time off from work or the gym, why not incorporate it? Preventing an injury outweighs recovering from injury on any day.
#2: Stretching Before Exercise
Stretching before exercise prepares the body for the strenuous work ahead. During exercise, we want our muscles to have as much controlled range of motion as possible. Once the body adapts to increased ranges of motion, you will notice an increase in flexibility.
#3: Stretching After Exercise:
Stretching before and after enhances muscle coordination. As we get older, muscle coordination will diminish if we don’t train our bodies or keep them flexible. Stretching before and after exercise helps to increase balance and reduces the risk of sustaining an injury.
#4: Improves Recovery
In terms of recovery, stretching after exercise reduces muscle tension, allowing more blood circulation to the muscles worked. Improving circulation to those muscles helps eliminate the lactic acid produced during exercise, accelerating the recovery process to help your muscles grow back stronger.
#5: Aids The Cool-Down Process
Stretching post workout aids the cool-down process. When you stretch post workout, it works in combination with the endorphins, released during the workout, to restore energy and boost your sense of well being.
#6: Stretching Before Band Workouts
Stretching before band workouts is great for improving posture. Training your muscles to remain lengthened allows you to maintain good posture, minimizing the discomfort caused by bad posture.
– By Keith Hodges